tv PBS News Hour PBS August 15, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> while we want to sustain our relationship with egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets. >> woodruff: president obama delivered that rebuke to egypt's government today, in the wake of a bloody crackdown on protesters, that left more than 600 hundred dead and thousands wounded. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: as egyptians regroup after a wave of bloodshed and chaos, pockets of violence still persist. we get an on-the-ground report from cairo and debate options for the u.s. >> woodruff: then, the u.s. defense department rolled out its plan to curb sexual assaults in the military. we dig into the details and discuss whether more needs to be done.
>> brown: the maker of the painkiller oxycontin refuses to disclose a full list of doctors who may over-prescribe the addictive drug. we have the latest on an investigation by the los angeles times and new pressure from lawmakers. >> woodruff: the nation of myanmar is home to one of the world's most persecuted minorities-- the rohinga. we have the harrowing tale of what happens when this group of muslims try to flee to safety. >> it looks like a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat. >> brown: and say hello to the olinguito-- the newly-discovered mammal species. we talk to the scientist who helped find the furry creature. >> a detective's trail from ski and skulls in a museum all the way down to a cloud forest in the western slopes in the andes in ecuador, first realizing the animal was a new species and then seeing the new species in the wild. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on
tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> woodruff: the official toll in wednesday's crackdown in egypt rose sharply today to 638 dead and some 4,000 hurt. supporters of the former president mohammed morsi claimed casualties were far higher, and they vowed not to give in. jonathan rugman of "independent television news" reports from cairo. a warning: some of the images in his story are graphic. >> reporter: in a mosque in eastern cairo, grief and disbelief. after egypt's government killed hundreds of its own people on a single day. the iman mosque is full of bodies. we reckoned around 200, though in this chaos it's hard to tell.
the dead and the living jostling for space. one coffin was being used as an ice bucket to keep the bodies cool, but in the heat of a cairo summer, the ice kept running low. they are trying to keep the place clean but a religious has become a morgue. this doctor said most had been shot in the chest or head. many were badly burned. scores of bodies are still in this mosque because they haven't been claimed by their relatives, sometimes because they're too badly burned to be recognized. the word massacre does seem to fit the picture here. egypt's own health ministry now admits that over 200 people died near here yesterday. but the government blames the protesters. >> we will continue to going to the streets peacefully until they kill us all. this is our message for them. we will not carry guns.
we will always be peaceful. and we will die. that's it. because yesterday what happened- - today you can see here there are people are burned alive. not alive but people are burned. you cannot even recognize them. the relatives can't recognize them. how the hell they did this. >> reporter: in giza though there was violence. state televisions said hundreds of supporters of egypt's ousted president had stormed and torched local government buildings this afternoon. and the interior ministry has been honoring its dead. 43 policemen reported killed yesterday in the pursuit of security and safety the ministry said. egypt racheting up its martyrs on both sides of its bitter divide. this is where most of those dead protesters we filmed were killed. the government assault against them lasted over 12 hours. their sprawling, six-week-old tent city was burned to the
ground, regardless of what the rest of the world says. tomorrow thousands of egyptian were camped out here yesterday. till police snipers and bulldozers moved in. a scorched earth policy that's put the army back in control. hundreds of abandoned shoes, evidence perhaps of a terrifyingly fast retreat. these streets are now being cleared at breakneck speed. and egyptian tourists are taking photographs of a crime scene they are delighted to see erased. "i'm happy they are gone," this woman told me. "they are terrorists, and i hope they stay away from here forever. they are not good for egypt." behind her and gutted by fire, the mosque from where the muslim brotherhood hoped to engineer a second arab spring, which would see it's toppled leader reinstated. but a short drive away, the
brotherhood's anger still boils. "egypt will stay islamic," they chant. "we have god on our side." yesterday they were shot in their hundreds. but their demands for justice have not died with them. >> brown: president obama today issued his first statement on yesterday's events in egypt and announced the u.s. is scrapping joint exercises with the egyptian military next month. he spoke from martha's vineyard, massachusetts, where he's vacationing. >> the united states strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by egypt's interim government and security forces. we deplore violence against civilians. we support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest. we oppose the pursuit of martial law, which denies those rights to citizens under the principle that security trumps individual freedom or that might makes right. but while we want to sustain our
relationship with egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back. as a result, this morning we notified the egyptian government that we are canceling our biannual joint military exercise, which was scheduled for next month. going forward, i've asked my national security team to assess the implications of the actions taken by the interim government and further steps that we may take as necessary with respect to the u.s.-egyptian relationship. let me say that the egyptian people deserve better than what we've seen over the last several days. and to the egyptian people, let me say the cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop. we call on the egyptian authorities to respect the universal rights of the people. we call on those who are protesting to do so peacefully
and condemn the attacks that we've seen by protesters, including on churches. we believe that the state of emergency should be lifted, that a process of national reconciliation should begin, that all parties need to have a voice in egypt's future, that the rights of women and religious minorities should be respected and that commitments must be kept to pursue transparent reforms to the constitution and democratic elections of a parliament and a president. america cannot determine the future of egypt. that's a task for the egyptian people. we don't take sides with any particular party or political figure. i know it's tempting inside of egypt to blame the united states or the west or some other outside actor for what's gone wrong. we've been blamed by supporters of morsi; we've been blamed by the other side as if we are supporters of morsi.
that kind of approach will do nothing to help egyptians achieve the future that they deserve. we want egypt to succeed. we want a peaceful, democratic, prosperous egypt. that's our interest. but to achieve that, the egyptians are going to have to do the work. i want to be clear that america wants to be a partner in the egyptian people's pursuit of a better future. and we are guided by our national interest in this long- standing relationship. but our partnership must also advance the principles that we believe in and that so many egyptians have sacrificed for these last several years, no matter what party or faction they belong to. so america will work with all those in egypt and around the world who support a future of stability that rests on a foundation of justice and peace and dignity.
>> woodruff: the president stopped short of suspending one and a half billion dollars in annual u.s. aid to egypt. but is that the right decision given the ouster of president morsi last month and yesterday's violence? for answers, i'm joined by former u.s. ambassador nicholas burns. he's now a professor at the john f. kennedy school of government at harvard university and senior foreign affairs columnist at "global post." and joe stork, deputy director of the middle east and north africa division at human rights watch. gentlemen, we thank you both for being here. ambassador burns, to you first. what's your reaction to what the president said? >> judy, i think the president had to say what he said today, given the horrish, brutal attacks by the egyptian military on their own people, the president had to condemn them. he had to distance the united states from the military government in egypt, which he did. he had to canc thel very important joint exercise.
as you mentioned, what he did not do is sever all relations with the government and he did not announce the united states would cut off aid. here is the dilemma for the obama administration. on the one hand, we have to be identified with human rights. that's the kind of country we are. that's our history. we have to stand up and condemn a government like the government in cairo when they act in this reprehensible manner. on the other hand, the united states has very important security and economic interests in egypt. it's the keystone country of the middle east. the peace agreement between egypt and israel, the camp david accords that jimmiy carter negotiated are critical and the bedrock of our policy in the entire region and egypt has been a real partner in the united states, as you know, in countering terror in the region and trying to constain and constrain iran. there's the dilemma for the from the. how far do we go? i think the strategy here, judy, by the united states government is to use the influence we have to push the military authorities
towards some kind of a plan that would give some hope to the egyptian people, a revised constitution, new elections, and hopefully the inclusion of the muslim brotherhood in the political process. that's why i think they did not announce the cutoff of aid today and why they hope to use that influence to push the egyptian government in the future. >> woodruff: joe stork, do you think the president struck the right balance today? >> i think he probably did, although i certainly think the aid remains an important part of the picture. i mean, he took a first step, i should say, in terms of making a very symbolically and visible, high-profile decision like he did. but one of the problems is i can't tell you today that cutting off the aid or reducing the aid or suspending the aid would make a difference in egypt today. if that's part of our calculation, that's part of the reason for doing it in terms of improving the situation, i'm not sure it would work. we would just be playing into a dynamic why the egyptian military currently is riding a
wave of nationalism and xenophobia that is, as the president mentioned, is very hostile. >> woodruff: what about what we just heard ambassador burns say, on the one hand there has to be a consideration for human right. on the other hand, the u.s. has serious national interests in egypt. >> it does. although i don't think the treat weisrael and so forth, the things that were the-- the treaty bedrock for the military aid, i don't think that's, frankly, very important. >> and wouldn't hold that up for too much consideration. i think the reason for taking that further step now would be primarily to-- >> woodruff: you mean cutting off aid. >> cutting off the aid or portions of it, would be to more strongly signal, distance the united states from the appearance of any complicity with the action the military has taken. i think there might be a further step, though. we're looking at a very, very polarized, dangerously polarizes situation, where the facts on the ground are not entirely
clear. on the one hand the scale of the carnage yesterday-- in fact, since july 3, you know, certainly would suggest there's been a lot of excessive use of force, a lot of unlawful killings by the authorities. but i think-- those facts are highly disputed. perceptions are very different in egypt, and i think some sort of, frankly-- i think the united states now should work internationally with its allies but also in the context of the u.n., exercise its role in the security council, and the human rights council. >> woodruff: ambassador burns what, about the argument out there that even if cutting off military aid right now wouldn't change the behavior of egypt's leaders, it would at least make a powerful statement about where the u.s. stands, what its principles are with regard to what happened yesterday. >> i think, judy, every american administration has to answer the question, "do we want to have a foreign policy of protests or a foreign policy where you're
really focused on trying to make a difference." in some ways it might have been easier for the president to have gone out today and condemned, as he did, what the egyptian military did, and also say that he was going to take away the aid because i think there will be congressional pressure towards that end, and a number of american allies, particularly in europe are, going to want to take that same measure. but on the other hand, the united states remains the most influential outsider-- outside country, outside force in the middle east. we have very important security interests, not only in egypt, but we certainly do in that peace agreement with israel, and that's the bedrock concern of the rells. and i think there's an appreciation, judy, that these arab revolutions are going to go on and on and on. this is not going to be a short drama. they may be at the end of act one of a five-act play that guilty on for a generation. so the calculation by the administration, which i think is right, is that you have to stay in the fight, you have to guard the influence you have, and you've got to use that influence behind the scenes. and i think you'll see that
happening. you saw that our secretary of defense chuck hagel calls general al sisi, the authoritarian leader of egypt, and he said the military relationship is at risk. that is a wairng to the egyptian government, if they don't come forward with a plan for political reform, the united states could take the more drastic action in the future. >> woodruff: joe stork, we just heard ambassador burns say the u.s. is among, if not the most powerful player in the region, yet we heard the president today say the u.s. can't determine egypt's future. so what is the influence? >> i think the fact that chuck hagel made these 15 to 18 calls to general al sisi yesterday, is one indication of the limits of u.s. influence. also, you know, the u.s. aid, this $1.5 billion, it's not small change, but on the other hand, it ain't what it used to be in 19 sphierng or 1999, and we're look at a situation where
saudi arabia, yiepted arab emirates, kuwait are pouring in funds to support the general. it's not as easy a picture, equation as it used to be. >> woodruff: ambassador burns, in a way you're both saying there are limits to u.s. influence. >> i think there are. i served in egypt 30 years ago, judy. we had much more influence then than we do now, but we still have influence. there's no other country in europe or in asia that has more influence than the united states does in egypt and for one reason, really. we've had a 30-year relationship with the egyptian military. all those senior officers in egypt have studied in our military schools. they have friendships with american policy officers. they've been trained by us, and they use american equipment. that does give us influence, and i think the power of our country does as well. so i wouldn't minimize that. and i think the strategy we saw today was to try to use that influence but maybe in a more nuanced way, behind the scenes, not in front of the cameras. i think, judy, in that sense this story will play pout now
over the next few weeks. but if there are more manifestations of killings, of direct fire into civilians in the coming weeks as we saw this week, then i think the patience of the united states could and should wear out. >> we're likely to see, that frankly. we're looking at security forces that have behaved this way time and time again. i'm afraid we don't see any indication that they're suddenly going to do the right thing. >> woodruff: that's what you expect to happen? >> the situation to worsen. i expect there's going to be an escalation, and maybe this-- the question of u.s. aid is, among many other things, has to remain on the table. there may come a time for that. maybe because the situation is likely to worsen, you want to keep it on the table. but i think the key thing now is to work with allies, the europeans, especially, but also other countries -- latin america, and so forth-- in the u.n. forums to basically surround egypt diplomatically. >> woodruff: we hear you both,
joe stork, ambassador tony nicklinson las burns, thank you. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": the pentagon responds to sexual assaults in the ranks; the doctors who over-prescribe painkillers; one group's harrowing journey to freedom and the newest member of the mammal family. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: at least 33 people were killed in a series of car bombings across baghdad today. they're the latest in a surge of attacks that have killed 3,000 iraqis since april. the bombings hit across the capital city destroying cars and shops. no group claimed responsibility, but sunni militants frequently are blamed for such attacks. a car bomber also struck in beirut, lebanon, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 280. the target was a residential area in the south of the city, a stronghold for the shi-ite militant group hezbollah. the blast set fire to buildings and sent emergency workers and crowds scurrying to help victims. dozens of people were trapped inside apartment houses hit by the blast.
in california, state officials announced today a new span of the san francisco, oakland bay bridge, will open over labor day weekend, as planned. there had been talk of a delay after inspectors found more than 30 cracked seismic safety bolts. the $6 billion bridge has had a series of setbacks. a temporary fix for the bolts is planned for now. a permanent fix could be finished in mid-december. the marching band at florida a&m university will return to performing at football games on september first. that announcement today comes nearly two years after the band was suspended over the hazing- related death of drum major robert champion. since then, the school has enacted anti-hazing policies and put restrictions on band membership. wall street had a tough day, after cisco and wal-mart issued disappointing earnings and outlooks. the dow jones industrial average lost 225 points to close at 15,112. the nasdaq fell 63 points to
close at 3,606. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: we return again to the issue of sexual assault in the military. the defense department brass unveiled their own initiatives to combat the problem today. this comes as legislation with stricter guidelines for how the armed forces must deal with assaults continues to gain momentum. >> the bottom line is sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned, it's not ignored. >> brown: pentagon officials today rolled out new initiatives on preventing and responding to sexual assault in the military. jessica wright is acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness. >> everyone in the department from the newest enlistee to the sec of defense and everyone in between are responsible to uphold our values and continue an environment of dignity and respect for all. >> brown: among other things, the new measures include: creating a legal advocacy
program in each military service and ensuring that military prosecutors handle all pre-trial investigative hearings. the problem has come into stark relief in recent months. a pentagon study in may found that an estimated 26,000 troops said they were sexually assaulted last year, but only 3,400 attacks were reported. at a june hearing, democratic senator kirsten gillibrand of new york argued victims have little reason to expect fair treatment. >> not all commanders are objective. not every single commander necessarily wants women in the force; not every single commander believes what a sexual assault is; not every single single commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and a rape because they merge all of these crimes together. >> brown: gillibrand, and her 46 legislative co-sponsors in the senate want sexual assault cases handled entirely outside the chain of command. the senate armed services
committee has rejected that approach, in favor of one offered its chairman, carl levin of michigan. it keeps prosecutions within the chain of command. today, the director of the joint staff, lieutenant general curtis scaparrotti, said there's ample opportunity for victims to be heard. >> our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines know that today there's about ten avenues for them to report and they also know that when they do report, it immediately goes to a military investigation office in law enforcement. >> brown: for her part, gillibrand voiced disappointment with the pentagon's response. in a statement, she said: meanwhile, defense secretary chuck hagel today ordered military leaders to base decisions in sexual assault cases only on the facts and their independent judgment. that's after president obama
said this, in may. >> if we find out somebody's engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. period. >> brown: defense attorneys have argued that president obama's statement constituted undue command influence in judicial proceedings, and they've gotten charges dismissed or verdicts changed, in at least two sexual assault cases. we assess the new measures now, with susan burke, a lawyer who specializes in defending women in military sexual assault cases. and retired army major general john altenburg had a 28 year career in the army, retiring in 2001. he served as the second highest ranking lawyer of his service and is now in private practice. and welcome to both of you. >> thank you. >> brown: let's just reaction, starting with you, susan burke,
to the pentagon's new initiatives. >> well, i'm very disappointed. the reality is that the military has been on notice, at least since 1991, the tailhook scandal, they've been on notice that they need to take dramatic measures to change the way that the prosecution of rapes and sexual assaults are handled. right now, there's less than 1% of the predators being convicted. it's dismal. they have a serious embeddedly sexual predation problem yet what we see today are minor tweaks, most of which has already been in place in at least one of the services in the past. what we really need to do is agreement with this at a system level. level. >> i'd split what dodd has done in the two categories, one is to help the victim. there are three of those, to change the executive orders so that they'll have-- a right to be at the sentencing hearing. another is that they-- the accused will be moved away, there will be provisions to move the accused out of the unit,
rather than the victim, and the third is the sexual victim advocacy. the sexual victim going across the services is new. it's been tried in one service so far. and then there are some systemic things, also, the idea of making judge advocates doing the 32s instein of line officers and the i.g. reviewing the investigations into the various services. those are different and those are more systemic. >> brown: why are those not enough? you think they're not getting at the problem? what is the problem? >> they're not getting at the problem. first off, there's the focus on care and summit for the victims. what there needs to be a focus on is to lock up sexual predators and nothing addresses that. they haven't grappled with those issues at all. what you have to do is say why do we have a problem in the military? why is the military failing to put people in jail as the same rates civilian authorities are putting people in jail? and it gets back to an inherent bias.
right now, the decision maker, the person who has control or the adjudicatory process is not a trained prosecutor who thinks about public safe issues and winning prosecutions. instead, it's someone who is the boss of the predator or the boss of the victim, or both. and so you have that inherent tension that this person who is being it's chain of command that's being tasked with making the decision his own career interests begin to play in. he is not the type of impartial person that we expect to have this kind of power. >> brown: well, this goes to the chain of command issue. why is that still in place? why is that important, the military, even today, the pentagon is not changing that. >> the commander is the only one that can really effect change in the institution. and the commander is the one that can change the culture that she's talking about, and that's why we've made sure the commanders are the convening
authorities. they in fact have the advice and council of prosecutors at every level from '0 slooe, to 05, to 06, and the prosecutors have involved. >> brown: even with these new guidelines, if the-- one of the ideas is to get the investigators involved more up front. why not bypass the commander and take it to the lawyers? >> first of all, that's been happening for years that the investigators are involved up front. the investigation have been done completely independent of the chain of command for years. the command doesn't direct investigations. that's a myth that's been exploited by some. i couldn't disagree with siewns more about comparing the prosecution rates. i believe prosecutions are more aggressively done in the military, that there are more of them, and the conviction rates are higher than they are in the civilian sector. >> the data just doesn't bear that out. first off, the reality is, the on-the-ground reality we know
from directly interviewing the victims as well as directly interviewing commanders is that in fact manialseualses are simpy shut one. we had one victim who went in to report the rape to her commander, and he said, "listen, it was five minute of her life. suck it up. get back to work." never went to investigation. there are myriad ways to sweep this under the rug and commanders do it because it can serve their own interest upon piwould note that congress has asked for data in order to exercise their oversight functions, the military had a deadline of 2010 to put this data forward. they still haven't put it forward. so it's not a myth. the reality is that there is day in and day out miscarriages of justice. we need to focus on-- not on culture, not on changing the misogynistic culture. that needs to be done, but that's not what has to be done in order to solve this problem. this problem requires focusing on incarc rating predators. >> brown: at that hearing,
press difference today, they did go out of their way to say this is-- they are taking this very, very seriously. now, that's what-- that's the picture you're seeing, that they are addressing this and have changed, not only the culture but the law? >> sthaef been changing it for several years. it clearly took a while for them tond that these-- the scope of the problem that they had in the military. in the last five years, they've hired civilian prosecutors, special victim prosecutors. they've completely revamped the way they prosecute these cases. they've addressed all the issues susan raises. >> brown: do you think the new initiative by the pentagon takes the wind out of the sales of senator gillibrand. >> i don't think it should take the wind out of her sails. i think she should be proud that her activism has caused the military to do more and i think that these are very positive steps that the military has taken. but i'll tell you, i could not disagree more with this aspect that they're talking about, the
prosecution success in the military being somehow less than it is in the civilian sector. these are hard cases to try in both sectors. they're ugly cases. there are problems of proof, just the nature of-- you know, sometimes no witnesses, other than the two people. >> brown: where do you think things go now? >> the reality is the data shows the prosecution and conviction rates are far lower. you are looking at less than 1% of the predators that have been caught being put in jail. i think that what you have to ask yourself is that the military's had two decades, 22 years, to solve this, and what they've done trying began and again is the same type of thing they're trying today. we as a nation really owe it to the service members to step in. congress needs to step in when the military has proven itself unable to solve the problem. and so the members of congress need to step up and say service members should not get second-class justice. they're entitled to the same type of fair and impartial adjudication that you or i or the general is entitled to as civilians.
>> brown: all right, we're going to follow this as it goes through congress. for now, susan burke major general john altenburg, thank you. >> next to southeast asia. the nation of myanmar, also known as burma, is home to one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, that according to the u.n. they are muslims known as the rohinga and human rights groups say they've been recent targets of ethnic cleansing by their buddhist neighbors. john sparks of "independent television news" reports on the dangerous journey for those who try to leave. >> reporter: on a wind-swept stretch of the bangladesh coast, there is a ragged-looking settlement hidden amongst the trees. home to thousands who've fled from neighboring burma, they're rohingya muslims fleeing vicious ethnic violence in their homeland, but few want to stay. however, they've come here to find themselves a ship.
they want to escape and these people are desperate. >> reporter: inside a shabby- looking shack, our team found one group waiting for instructions. waiting for a telephone call to say their boat to malaysia is ready. recruited by brokers and they've been here waiting for days. some young, some old, all determined to leave. they've been charged £200 each, but the true cost of this crossing will be much higher. rohingya board vessels off burma or bangladesh with one basic aim, they want to be taken south, past thailand and onto malaysia, where they're permitted to stay.
u.n. agencies think 35,000 people have attempted the journey in the past 12 months. and brokers told us that there are several vessels used to transport rohingya anchored in a bangladeshi port. there are cargo ships that carry timber north and human beings on the return leg south. and they're not easy to identify, the names have been painted over. our team had to film secretly. it's thought the men on board carry arms. and we saw a series of metal cages below deck. rohingya who've made the journey told us it's where the women and children are held. the men are kept in the darkness below. we spoke to mohammed who spent 11 days in the bottom of a traffickers ship.
>> reporter: the passengers are the brokers promise passage to malaysia, but the ships don't sail that far. there's business to be done in thailand. passengers are disembarked and held on thai islands, like this one. it's called tarutao, a thai national park, but we discovered the southern half wasn't being used for recreation. it's an isolated spot, and according to our contacts in the rohingya community, the site of several secret prisons where hundreds of people are held captive. it's been hard to find a boat willing to take us here-- local people are scared of this place- - and we don't know what sort of reception we're going to get. we skirted the islands southern tip, and saw smoke from a
campfire rising through the trees, so we went in for a closer look. the area looked deserted, but we weren't alone. clearly people there, we can hear the voices. a man dressed in white emerged from the trees. he wasn't happy and told us to go. >> no, no. >> reporter: our driver said the man was a camp guard and we decided to flee. it was a dangerous place to be, former captives on the island told us they were held by armed guards and to release them, relatives have to pay a ransom of around £1,500. rafeeq spent 19 terrifying days on tarutao island, an experience he longs to forget.
>> reporter: rafiq's father salamot is not a wealthy man but he did as he was told. he sold his cattle to free his son. and if prisoners are unable to get the money, to raise the ransom, well, they're sold as slave labor to thai fishing boats were told. here's mohammed: >> reporter: allegations of forced labor on thai fishing boats have surfaced before, but the mass trafficking of rohingya is a cloaked in secrecy. however, we managed to meet a member of a trafficking gang. he called himself bo and told us he was charge of security on tarutao island.
i asked him whether he beats the prisoners. >> reporter: how do the traffickers avoid the attention of the thai authorities. "simple," he said, "they've paid bribes to ten different police and military units in the last four months." >> reporter: back on the mainland, the local police chief denied his officers take bribes. >> you know these islands are used by the traffickers >> reporter: there was a surprising development.
as we continued our investigation, thai police found a number of vessels and conducted a raid on the same spot we'd visited days earlier. they provided us with these pictures. in a jungle clearing, they found a multitude of anxious faces. huddled together in rudimentary huts and plastic wrapped long- houses. other prisoners were discovered in camps located further inland. a stop sign warned captives not to approach a nearby beach, while a guard-tower loomed overhead. the traffickers accounts were seized, names of individual brokers are recorded here. 176 were plucked from the jungle and taken to this police station on the mainland. and they were tired and shaken by their ordeal. "they treated us like dogs," said this man. some told us that they that
wanted to go to australia, but their journey concluded with a trip to the local detention center. however, more rohingya are sure to follow, for there is money to be made from their misery. >> woodruff: you can visit our website to find more reporting on myanmar and challenges facing the rohinga population, that's by "newshour" special correspondent kira kay. >> brown: and we close with the story of something furry, carnivorous and just discovered. it's a brand new species of mammal unveiled today in washington by scientists at the smithsonian museum of natural history-- the first found in the americas in 35 years. the olinguito is a small, nocturnal animal, part of the raccoon family. living in the trees of the mountainous cloud forests of ecuador and colombia, it's managed to stay hidden from view or, in several intriguing cases, unrecognized as a different
species. here to talk about his find is zoologist kristofer helgen, who spent the last decade tracking the two pound critters. welcome, and congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> brown: so tell us first about this critter. what is it? >> i want you to meet the olinguito. so this is the latest addition to the raccoon family tree. until now, it's been confused with another kind of animal called the olingo, but it's really quite a different animal. we published today a scientific paper where we gave this animal, the olinguito, its scientific name for the very first time. >> brown: when you say it's been confused, that's part of the intriguing thing of this story, right? these have been around-- you found them, where the evidence, first, in museum collections like this. >> that's exactly right. the story of the olinguito is one of mistaken identity. so i first realized this animal existed by finding specimens in
museum collections that had been put in the wrong place, identified as the wrong animal. but i realized as soon as i saw it, the significance of this animal. it was first in the chicago field museum. i pulled out of a drawer-- i was studying other members of the raccoon family-- i pulled out a drawer and saw orange, red pelts with long, flowing fur. i looked at some skulls just like this one and saw teeth and bones of the skull shaped different from an mammal i'd ever seen. it was then that i thought can it be true? can this be an animal here in the drawer that was overlooked by zoo ols until now? >> brown: i heard you use the phrase today, ," hiding in plain sight." it was there and nobody knew what it was. >> some of the specimens were in museum drawers-- behind the scenes, not on display. for decades, some even more than a century.
we've even found that an olinguito had been displayed at american zoos-- >> brown: a living version. >> a living version of this animal. so it's been in museums. it's been in zoos. but-- >> brown: excuse me, because i heard the story of the zoo was interesting because they said they couldn't-- it wouldn't mate with any other olinguito, and now we know why. >> now we know why. it wasn't just that the animal was fussy. they moved it around trying to quiet it to breed with olinguito. it wasn't the right animal. >> brown: what's the significance? how do you describe it? >> i think that the significance is huge. and that's because the discovery, i think, is so unexpected. so the group of animals that the olinguito is part of are what we call the mamallian carnivores, carnivora. this include the dog family, the cat family, the bear family, the raccoon family. and these animals are beloved by the public and they're intensely
studied by zoologists. and because of that, the classification of that's animals tend to be well established. most of these we've known about for hundreds of years. scientists have known about them. this part of the animal family tree is the last place where you would expect an animal like the olinguito to be hood hying. >> brown: once you discovered them in the museums you went to the actual place to see the actual living animal. >> right. the olinguito is only found in colombia and ecuador. i first realized that by studying as many museum specimens i could find. i went to every museum i could find the specimens. they were all the spec mention i could find from the same habitat and elevation-- habitat we call cloud forests in the northern andes, colombia and ecuador. so these specimens even though they were in many cases decades
old gave us clues about what kind of habitats we could go look for this animal in south america. >> brown: was it hard to find when you got there? >> we thought, maybe this will be a shot in the dark. i reached out to one of my closest friends tan ecuadorian zoo ols, and he took us to a place he thought we would have our best chance. on the first night we were there, we found the animal in the wild. >> brown: that's pretty cool. >> it was amazing. taking this story, kind of a detective's trail from skins and skulls in a museum, all the way down to a cloud forest on the western slopes of the andes in ecuador, first realizing the animal was a new species and then seeing this new species in the wild. >> brown: this is pretty exciting for you personally? >> it really is. i travel the world looking for new species of mammals and i have discovered others new to science, but i consider this my most exciting discovery yet. >> brown: we're going to continue the conversation about the implications of this.
we'll do that online. >> okay. >> brown: we'll invite the audience to join us there for later. but for now, kristofer helgen, thanks so much. >> thanks for having me, jeff >> woodruff: we had toapped to bring you a story about the powerful pain killer oxycontin, but we have been having technical difficulties connecting with the llz studio so we'll try to do that in the future. instead, we take a second look at an education story and a prescription for succeeding in school. that comes from pediatricians making their patients' reading skills a part of regular examinations. the "newshour" special correspondent for education john marrow has the story. #-b. >> tell me his birthday. >> today two-year-old shadmin is here for his routine checkup. >> his pediatrician, dr. cindy
ozman, checks his eyes, ears, and heart, but that's not all. >> oh, you want the big one! so tell me what kinds of things he says these days. >> >> water. >> great! >> does he ever put words together? >> yes. >> perfect. give me some examples of times he puts word together. >> say, mommy, who will do this? >> so he's doing great with his language, perfect. my role is to help parents parent more effectively, how to connect with their kids more effectively, what kinds of activities they can do that will better stimulate their cognitive development and get them better prepared for doing better in school. >> reporter: she's a new breed of pediatrician part doctor, part teacher. >> you can see a lot in how they handle a book. you can check out their fine motor skills. so i'm both checking their development, and i am getting a sense of how frequently they're read to. what sound does the train make? what's he saying.
>> go, go, go. >> yeah. >> reporter: dr. ozmanned mond works in the pediatric primary care clinic at bellevue hospital in new york city. it's part of a national literacy program called, "preach out and read." >> i could not, would not, with a fox. >> reporter: books are given to children six months to five years old, and parents are encouraged to read them out loud. >> try to started to read, to saia little things. >> reporter: why the doctor's office? because that's the one place where all children, including those most at risk, go regularly before they enter school. without some school experience before first grade, most low-income children are almost guaranteed to begin school been everyone else. and we're talking about a lot of challenger here 5.1 american children under the age of five are growing up in poverty. so what are states doing to get these kids ready for first grade? see for yourself.
only ten stays and the district of columbia tells schools they must provide full-day cind garth kindergarten. 34 states require half-day programs and six daits do not require any kindergarten at all. head start reaches about one-third of three- and four-year-olds and in spite of their proven success, early education programs are now being cut. that leaves it to programs like reach out and read to pick up the slack. about 11,000 children a year come through the clinic at bellevue. all are from low-income homes, and for most, english is their second language. >> most of the families that we serve are immigrants and a lot of them were not able to finish schools. some of them were not even sent to school ever. >> reporter: here in the waiting room, the flat screen televisions are turned off, and the books are open. volunteers like esther read stories to the children.
>> bonjour i say! my goal and my approach is to let them have fun while they're reading, so that they don't feel like oh, i'm reading a book or i'm hearing a woring story. it's something interesting to them so it encourages them to read. >> look! a bunny! look what he's doing. what is he doing with all the laundry? >> reporter: volunteer elizabeth kasovitz is a former new york city school principal. >> i'm always looking up to see whether the parents are engaged, and very often i see them with an ear kind of tilted towards what i'm reading. >> the candy machine in the hall, and then automatic ice dispenser. >> i think sometimes parents may not know how to engage their children in reading. so my hope is how i present a book to a child, a parent will be able to emulate that and do the same under them when they're at home. >> reporter: the reach out and read program can be found in
5,000 medical centers across the country. it touches almost four million mostly low-income children at a cost of $10 per child per year. bellevue's program is one of the largest. >> so here it tells you the skills that he should be developing and how you can help develop those skills by playing with him. >> reporter: program director, claudia aristy often talks with families while they wait. >> one of the ideas that i share with her is that she can be reading a book aloud to her 11 month-old while he's walking in the room, just putting language out there for him. we want to just bombard those brains with a lot of words. so we tell the parents just describe everything you see. >> reporter: families are likely to pay attention to advice given at the doctors office, especially when it comes from their pediatrician. >> we help them through difficult times, whether it's, you know, a kid with temper tantrums or a kid who's up all night and is having trouble sleeping. we have an opportunity to... to bond with families and make some suggestions that hopefully work. families do turn to
pediatricians for more than just prescriptions. that's for sure. >> reporter: in this program a child will have ten regular checkups between the ages of six months and five years. that's just ten books, just ten opportunities for the doctor to stress the importance of reading. is it enough? >> there's solid research that shows that just that intervention of handing a family a book, giving them a couple of age-appropriate pieces of advice about how to read with their kid and just encouraging reading, they-- those kids will do better in school. >> reporter: the research she refers to showed that children served by reach out and read had a six month developmental edge over their peers in the preschool years. with the introduction of the common core, a new set of standards being adopted in most schools nationwide, children entering first grade will be expected to be able to read and comprehend simple text. for those who haven't gone to
kindergarten or who aren't being raised in homes filled with books, school will be even tougher. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the official toll in wednesday's crackdown in egypt rose sharply to more than 600 killed and some 4,000 hurt. supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi insisted the real numbers are far higher. president obama announced the u.s. is canceling joint military exercises with egypt next month. but he gave no indication of any plans to cut $1.3 billion in military aid. and pentagon officials announced new initiatives to address sexual assault cases in the military. >> brown: online, a story of an unlikely partnership, between a drug dealer and a nurse. kwame holman has the details. >> holman: in a neighborhood in tanzania, one woman sells heroin to her neighbors. another provides clean needles. is the joint effort helping to
reduce h.i.v. and tuberculosis? or just increasing drug abuse? read about the controversial harm reduction approach in our special report: "the street of blood and smoke." and economics correspondent paul solman responds to recent criticism of analysis given on these airwaves. read his defense on making sense all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...
this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and susie gharib brought to you by. >> sailing through the heart of historic cities and landscapes on a river, you get close to iconic landmarks, to local life, to cultural treasures, viking river cruises, exploring the world in comfort. dow down down down, stocks fell sharply today, concerns about the consumer and corporate america. has something changed in the economy? and what does it mean for your money? >> walmart says shoppers aren't shopping, spenders aren't spending and profits won't be what was predicted the what the walmart's woes say about the broader economy. and housing disconnect. home builders are more